Last month, at a town hall meeting in Ohio City, 150 residents showed up to voice their concern over a proposed plan to move Heaven & Earth nightclub from the Flats’ east bank to the former home of controversial nightspot/cocaine emporium Moda. Owners of the building were stabbed repeatedly, Councilman Joe Santiago was tarred and feathered, and the night ended in West Side Market, where a ravenous mob of Ohio Citians broke through the chain locks and feasted till dawn in a bacchanalian orgy that would have made Nero blush.
Which is why it was so surprising that today, three days before a liqupr-board hearing that was to determine the fate of the deal, everything ended so, well, quietly. ...
According to the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, the owners of Heaven & Earth have cancelled their transfer application and agreed instead to move to the former Odeon site, also on the soon-to-be-gutted East Bank. And just like that, the fight is over.
Hush’s battle to win over the community got off to a bad start. Councilman Joe Cimperman, himself tipped off by the Cleveland Law Department, was the first to notify OCNW of the pending transfer of the club’s liquor license to the West 25th Street location. Cimperman then worked in concert with OCNW to schedule a meeting where residents could review the proposal -- a meeting to which he brought a stack of complaints he’d collected over the years from past dealings with Moda.
“(Cimperman) led the charge,” says Bob Shores of OCNW.
Besides Cimperman, Shores credits the residents of Riverview Towers and the West Side Market Tenant’s Association. Those two buildings bookend the proposed nightclub location, and residents gathered hundreds of signatures in opposition to the nightclub.
“OCNW sides with the will of the community,” says Shores. “And the community, for the most part, did not want this.” – Caleb Hannan